English soccer pundit Andy Townsend's only mistake when he entered a Madrid restaurant after Real Madrid's 2-0 loss to Barcelona in their heated UEFA Champions League game was that he resembled German referee Wolfgang Stark and he was wearing a UEFA credential badge.
"I went into a restaurant and was eating when I noticed people looking at me," the ITV commentator and Sportsmail columnist. "Some of them started taking pictures and then someone came and gave me a pot plant, saying, 'This is for you' with a funny look on his face. There were 10 of us around the table thinking, 'What is going on here?' When I stood up I got booed and when I went to the loo, I got followed there and back. A waiter escorted me to my seat ... I didn’t know why!"
The former Chelsea and Aston Villa player blamed Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho for whipping up a frenzy with his tirade about Stark and all matters refereeing after the game.
"They totally saw the referee as the villain of the piece," Townsend said. "That’s how Mourinho whips up a frenzy. As ITV were going off air there was actually a fight going on in front of me in the stadium — two men were exchanging blows. And these were the decent seats. I witnessed first-hand the effect Mourinho has on fans. I wouldn’t want to see him back in England."
It wasn't funny to Townsend when he had to try to explain to the angry customers that he was English, but his ITV colleague Adrian Chiles couldn't help but have a laugh.
"Adrian’s started calling me Wolfie," he said. "But actually there’s a sinister edge to it. The crowd were baying for the referee’s blood."